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- Almost eight in ten (78%) Irish consumers plan to switch provider for at least one household essential this year
- Those considering switching electricity suppliers almost doubles since 2015 to 40% – but official switching figures tell a different story
- Almost six in ten of us (59%) have previously thought about switching supplier, but fear factors mean many of us still fail to go ahead
- Loyalty doesn’t pay, but almost a quarter of electricity, home and mobile phone customers (22%) claim to have been with the same supplier for over 10 years
- CER figures show 81% of electricity and 69% of gas customers are on standard tariffs – there’s a €318 difference between typical standard tariffs and the cheapest deals in the market, so Switcher.ie urges consumers to fight apathy and take control
As Irish households continue to battle against the squeeze on their finances, almost eight in ten of us (78%) are planning to switch at least one of our household suppliers this year, according to new research from independent price comparison and switching service, Switcher.ie. But, despite best intentions and substantial savings to be made, fear factors continue to prevent many from actually going ahead – leaving them unable to cut their costs or secure a better deal.
For almost all household services, more people say they intend to switch provider this year than they did in 2015. The findings show that 45% plan to switch motor insurance, compared to 25% in 2015, while one in three (34%) say they plan to switch internet provider, up from 21%. Given our ongoing love affair with our mobiles, a quarter (24%) intend to switch mobile phone network, up 9% on last year.
But despite good intentions, many consumers fail to follow through. While four in ten (40%) say they plan to switch electricity in the next 12 months, almost double the amount that intended to switch in 2015 (22%), the official switching figures tell us a different story.
The Commission for Energy Regulation’s 2016 figures revealed that 14% of Irish people actually switched electricity in 2016 – and so far in 2017, average switches per month are broadly in line with the numbers from last year.
So, while the intent to switch is there, it’s clear that people don’t always go ahead with it. In fact, three in five (59%) people said that they had previously thought about switching utility provider, but didn’t switch in the end.
The research suggests that fear factors are continuing to prevent people from taking control and securing a better deal. As a result, many are being left paying considerably more than they need to. Key concerns for those who didn’t go ahead with switching appear to be: not wanting to get tied into a contract/pay a deposit to start a contract (36%); not being able to tell if a new supplier would save them money (34%); thinking that switching seemed like too much hassle (32%); and being unsure if the new product was same as what was offered by their old supplier (29%).
It’s also clear that consumers need greater reassurance and some facts about switching – one in ten (11%) who didn’t go ahead with a switch were afraid of losing service, and over a third (35%) of consumers are unclear about the fact that all electricity and gas suppliers use the same network to supply household energy.
While some customers will choose to stay with an existing supplier out of genuine loyalty, it is important that those who are unhappy or want a better deal feel they are empowered enough to leave. For most household essentials, Irish customers stick with their providers for 5 years or more, on average. But, incredibly, almost a quarter of electricity, home and mobile phone customers (22%) claim to have been with the same supplier for over 10 years.
According to a recent working paper from the ESRI, the longer a customer has been with a supplier, the less likely they are to switch. And this loyalty simply doesn’t pay, with longstanding customers frequently left languishing on more expensive tariffs or plans than new customers. Taking just one household essential – energy bills – this loyalty could mean customers are up to €318 out of pocket, as anyone who hasn’t switched in the last year will likely be on their supplier’s standard tariff, which will be more expensive than the initial discounted rate.
And, although suppliers do sometimes offer so-called ‘retention deals’ to existing customers to hold onto them, only a small number of consumers (6%) that didn’t switch say this was because they got a better deal from their current provider.
Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie, said: “Households across Ireland are still feeling the pinch, but switching offers us the chance to take back control, get better value for money and potentially save hundreds of Euro – which could be crucial for anyone struggling with their bills. It only takes a few minutes to compare deals for broadband, energy, TV and phones and, with substantial savings to be made, it’s well worth taking the time.
“Our research shows that awareness of switching and households’ intentions to switch are high, but people are still being held back by fear factors. It is vital that consumers are educated and feel supported enough to be able to shop around and switch freely so that they can make better-informed choices about the suppliers and products that suit their needs and budgets. In this day and age, loyalty doesn’t pay – simply sticking with an existing supplier will frequently land you with a higher bill than if you shopped around.
“Although signing a contract with a new provider can seem daunting, it doesn’t need to be. In general they range from just 12-24 months for the likes of energy, broadband and TV, with SIM-only mobile deals, and some broadband and TV plans, available on 30-day contracts – and there’s a 14-day cooling-off period if you sign up and then change your mind. There’s no need to worry about your electricity or gas being cut off when you switch, either, as all suppliers use the same cables and pipes to supply energy to your home.”
Customers can save up to €318 by switching energy providers, and there are currently savings of over €400 available on some broadband bundles. SIM-only mobile plans available from €6 per month. You can compare deals and make a switch on Switcher.ie.
For more information, visit Switcher.ie
Research was carried out in May 2017 for Switcher.ie by Coyne Research, involving 1,000 online interviews with Irish adults aged 18+years. The total sample is representative of the national population in Ireland.
 In response to the question: “Looking at the following household bills, for which of them – if any – are you likely to switch your provider in the next 12 months? (select all that apply) Electricity, gas, home insurance, motor insurance, health insurance, current account, home phone, mobile phone, internet/broadband, television, bins/recycling, none of the above.”
 In response to the question: “Has there ever been a time in the past when you were thinking of switching provider of a utility but did not switch in the end?”
 In response to the question: “Looking at the following household bills, how long have you been with each of your suppliers? Electricity, gas, home phone, mobile phone, internet/broadband, television, bins/recycling.”
 Source: Commission for Energy Regulation – Electricity and Gas Retail Markets Report Q2 2016
 Source: Switcher.ie – How does Switcher calculate its savings messages?
 Source: Commission for Energy Regulation – 2016 Electricity and Gas Retail Markets Annual Report
 Source: Commission for Energy Regulation – June 2017 Customer Switching Report for the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets
 In response to the question: “The following are a list of reasons that some people have given for not going through with switching a utility provider. Can you please indicate which of the following has stopped you from switching a provider in the past? I did not want to get tied into a contract/ pay a deposit to start the contract, There was no point switching as all suppliers are the same, I could not tell if the product offered by the new supplier was the same as the product offered by my old supplier – comparing products was too difficult, I was frightened of losing my service/getting cut off, I couldn’t tell if a new supplier would save me money, I didn’t know where to get the information in order to switch, Switching seemed like too much hassle.”
 In response to the question: “Do you think that all electricity/gas suppliers use the same network to supply energy to your home?”
 Source: ESRI – Consumer switching intentions for telecoms services: evidence from Ireland
One-third of Irish consumers (30%) claim to have been overcharged for at least one of their household essentials last year, according to new research from independent price comparison and switching service, Switcher.ie. This suggests that Irish households may have been overcharged by millions of euro last year.
The average amount overcharged was €53, and consumers also on average had to wait over five weeks to get their money back again. Home phone customers had to wait an even longer 6.5 weeks to get their money back, while electricity and broadband customers typically had to wait 5 weeks on average.
Household suppliers also varied significantly in their ability to turn a refund around within a week of being alerted to overcharging. Broadband companies were the least responsive, with just one in ten customers (11%) receiving a refund within a week, compared to a quarter (23%) of electricity customers – although some of these delays could be down to refunds being included in the next billing cycle.
Worryingly, the level of overcharging uncovered could just be the tip of the iceberg, with many consumers admitting to not understanding their bills enough to be able to uncover an error, or simply not checking. In fact, 37% of Irish consumers aren’t sure if they were overcharged or not in the last year, while over half of energy (57%), broadband (53%) and mobile phone (51%) customers admit to simply trusting their suppliers to get their bills right.
Many feel they don’t have a choice but to trust their suppliers. A third of energy customers (34%) say there is too much jargon on their bills, with 29% of broadband customers echoing this sentiment.
Overall, 32% of Irish electricity customers say their bills are too complicated, while 27% of electricity and 24% of broadband customers say they can’t find the information they are looking for. Meanwhile. one in three energy customers (34%) can’t identify billing errors. Such is the complexity that six in ten consumers (58%) claim to find at least one household bill difficult to understand.
Energy bills appear to cause the most confusion – one in four (23%) say they find these hard to understand. These findings chime with a recent report from the Commission for Energy Regulation which showed that, of all the complex complaints it received in 2016, 64% of those about electricity suppliers, and 72% about gas suppliers, related to billing issues.
In fact, less than half of energy consumers (49%) even check to see if their bill is correct, with four in ten (38%) just looking at the total amount due. Only 14% use their energy bills to compare deals and switch – a figure which tallies with the overall energy switching levels in the market.
While over-complicated bills leave consumers vulnerable to overpaying, with errors going unnoticed, confusing bills can also be a real barrier to engaging in the market, as consumers are put off comparing offers because they find it too difficult to understand what they’re currently being charged.
Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie, said: “Households are already paying thousands a year on household essentials, so consumers simply can’t afford to pay extra because of errors, or to wait weeks for a refund because they’ve been overcharged.
“A large percentage of people say their bills are too complicated, which puts them in the vulnerable position of having to trust their suppliers to get it right. Aside from the risk of overcharging, complicated bills are a huge barrier in preventing consumers from engaging in the utility market.This could mean they’re missing out on opportunities to save by changing their usage habits, or by switching to a better deal.
“Energy bills seem to cause consumers the most confusion, with many people saying they only look at the total amount due. This could mean that consumers are missing important information on their bills, including when a discounted tariff ends, or if their bill was estimated. The danger here is that a series of estimated bills could leave households at risk of significant debt if the estimates are out of line with real usage.
“Over the last few years, suppliers have made a real effort to provide their customers with helpful information on how to read their bills, and what the various charges mean for them, so there are great resources out there for anyone that is struggling to understand their bills. If you are one of the many consumers who is confused about items on your household bills, don’t be afraid to ask your supplier as they’ll be more than happy to help you. Getting a handle on the information in your bills will help you to be confident that your bills are correct, allow you to take control of your spending, and help you to save money in the long-run.”
For more information, visit Switcher.ie
RE:SURE is an Ireland-based company which offers a wide range of security services, primarily remote CCTV live monitoring. Established in 2008, they began with the idea of using the latest technological advancement for crime prevention purpose. The benefit of reduced costs made this a market-friendly idea so the market quickly accepted it, making them expand their services in the UK.
They offer security solutions for home, business, and personal use. Using object recognition software, they provide accurate 24-7 live surveillance. From their security control centre, they oversee the video feeds and act if necessary. At the control centre, they have 100% uptime servers so the monitoring and remote access won’t be disrupted at any moment.
On the RE:SUREs new website you can see more in depth info and examples of the services they offer, but here we’ll cover the most important ones.
The company’s way of securing the area is to prevent the crime from happening in a non-invasive manner. They use smart CCTV cameras with built-in speakers for the live warning system. Positive thing is that the CCTV software is applicable to many other security cameras so the user can upgrade their old security system. The upgrade consists of an object recognition software that automatically locates the intruder. Once found, it alerts the security control centre from where they assess the situation and if needed, issue live audio challenges. This technique has proven to be a good one because once the intruder is caught in the act and addressed directly, he quickly flees the scene before any damage is done.
A personal security solution that works with the help of your smartphone. It serves as a panic button that knows your exact location, in case any urgent help is needed. They offer it in three different versions: home, business and a taxi version. The difference is that the business option offers some advanced organizational features and in-company communication, while the other two are focused on the panic button feature. All of them are available 24-7 to the customers.
Similar to the business package, RE:SURE HOME offers 24-7 live monitoring and warning solution for private residences. The recognition software quick detection time and the live warning issued by the control center ensure that the unauthorized subject never enters the premises.
● Gate Access Control
● Sensor Monitoring
● Lone Worker Protection
● Intruder and Fire Alarm Monitoring
● 24-7 Phone Answering Service
RE:SURE has developed a great deal of affordable and functional security services that will meet almost all of your security needs. Their advanced security services are some of the best available, and their monitoring systems and other security products are equally as cost efficient and high performance. Overall, they are a quality brand that makes advanced products that are designed to help businesses and households protect themselves or their property.
Cube Online Marketing are delighted to be working with RE:Sure.
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Accountant Online are proud to be Ireland’s first online accounting service. Their experienced staff has been working with businesses since 2010. And it’s not just Irish companies either – being an online service means providing for their clients in the UK, US, the EU, South America, Asia, the Middle East. Their online presence means being on the edge of technological world; safeguarding their client’s records, bookkeeping, and providing tax solutions across the globe.
- Company Formation
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Safekeeping data has never been more important than it is today. Their online services combine technology solutions with our experience, allowing immediate access to all your accounts – so you can focus on growing your business, projects and enterprises. Moreover, their online software is specifically catered to meet the needs that your company recognises today.
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At AccountantOnline they believe that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Their team of experts provides you with the full range of accountancy services as well as advice on both traditional and online platforms.
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Cube are delighted to be working with Follow the Camino a Camino de Santiago tour company based in Dublin.
Follow the Camino was started by Umberto in 2006 to provide Irish pilgrims with booked walks on the Camino de Santiago. They have long since expanded and offer Camino tours to travellers from all over the world.
The company specialises in walking and cycling tours on the many Camino routes in Spain. Their sister company One Foot Abroad provide walking holidays throughout Europe and active winter sun holidays.
The main Camino routes are:
Camino Frances: walk the full 800km or take it easy and choose to walk a 6 or 7 day section of this famous pilgrimage. The most popular section on the Camino Frances is the last from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.
Camino Portugues: this route starts in Lisbon and runs for approximately 600km – depending on which variant you choose. The most popular section of this route is from Tui, but do consider the Coastal Route and walk along the Atlantic.
Camino del Norte: this is a hidden gem. At 830km it is long, the terrain at the start is challenging, the views incredible, and as quiet as the Camino Frances was ten years ago.
The Camino Ingles or the English Way is one of the shortest Camino routes at 100km. If you are planning on walking the last section into Santiago, this is a great alternative to the Camino Frances.
The Advantages of using a tour company:
· Peace of mind
· Booked accommodation
· Baggage transfer each day
· Handpicked accommodation
· Maps & walking notes
And perhaps most importantly: help is only ever a phone call away.
Follow the Camino help groups walk for charity, offer bus tours along the Camino, offer guided tours which are becoming very popular, and they organise trips for schools and students via their EduCamino program.
Cube love to work with companies where there is an obvious synergy. Leslie has walked the Camino de Santiago three times and has run a website and forum on the Camino since 2006, shortly after he started his SEO company in Dublin.
Cube are delighted to be working with 2020CCTV is one of Ireland’s top leaders when it comes to supplying security products and solutions to residents found all across the country. 2020CCTV employs highly ranked professionals who boast ample years of expertise and experience in the field of security, allowing them to supply their customers with only the best of the best in terms of security solutions and their accompanying security products. Priding themselves on their abundant wealth of knowledge, 2020CCTV is certain that the combination of their expert advice, their dedicated service and their tireless technical support can help people all over enjoy the feeling of total security through their friendly and professional company.
2020CCTV specializes in providing CCTV and other necessary security equipment to anyone who needs it, including homeowners, those who work in the security installation industry and any other business or organization who is in need of protection. They offer a wide variety of products that are designed to be taken advantage of by both tradesmen and the general public alike. Their extensive knowledge of each product allows them to be well versed in things such as CCTV, intruder alarms, access control as well as a number of other specific security equipment to suit every establishment.
2020CCTV supplies their customers with only the highest tier security systems in Ireland. These include items such as:
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– Other security accessories such as baluns, cables, CCTV power supplies, CCTV connectors, monitors, DVR enclosures, brackets, wireless stations and PTZ controllers
Your home or business needs security. It is a vital step between you and a threat that could possibly harm all of the things that you have worked so hard your whole life to keep protected, and it is worth the time and the investment in order to keep it safe. All it takes to physically secure your personal or business assets is getting in contact with 2020CCTV. You can contact them through their email address or phone service anytime in order to begin to understand how the company can keep you secure against any physical threat. During the self-installation process of their high-quality products, 2020CCTV offers extensive telephone support in order to ensure that you have no questions to ask and ultimately feel safe with the installation process. This company also offers returns on the equipment that they sell to you should you find that it is not what you expected within the first 30 days of purchase.
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Cube are delighted to be working with AlertWatch an NSAI Certified, PSA licensed and BTEC qualified company that is able to install a number of systems efficiently and inexpensively. Systems such as CCTV cameras, intruder alarm systems, fire alarms and intercom systems are their specialties. Having more than 60 years of experience, their surveyors know exactly what it takes to complete the job and have plenty of knowledge in order to offer professional advice regarding the best system for your home or business.
With offices in Dublin and Meath, AlertWatch can provide you with a quote of the price that your new system will cost, followed by an onsite survey and general consultation to ensure that they are meeting all of your needs. Dedicated to earning your trust in terms of the vital security necessary for your home or business applications, AlertWatch will provide you with reference of one of their clients near you in order for you to contact to hear about their excellent services and reputation from an outside source.
No matter if you are in need of an in-home single camera system or a one-hundred-camera system for your business, you can rely on the support system of AlertWatch’s team of experts. Regardless of what your need is, AlertWatch is dedicated to tailoring their systems to your specific set of needs no matter where you are in Ireland.
AlertWatch’s engineers have spent an immense period of time handling all different sorts of security systems in Ireland, such as:
– IP CCTV Systems
– HD TVI
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– Wireless CCTV
– HIKVISION, their most popular system which incorporates all of the above
– Wired intruder alarm systems
– Wireless intruder alarm systems
– Fire Alarms
Each of these services includes checkups every year:
Intruder alarm maintenance per EN50131
Maintenance, along with two inspections per year that test the functionality of:
– All zones of use
CCTV maintenance per EN50132
Maintenance, along with two inspections per year that includes:
– General camera testing, including adjustments and refocusing as needed
– Monitor adjustments as needed
– Set-up of remote software if needed
Access Control (ACT) Maintenance per EN50232
Maintenance, along with two inspections per year that test the functionality of:
– All standby batteries
– Proximity readers
– Signal confirmation
Fire alarm maintenance per IS3218:2013
Maintenance, along with four inspections a year that test the functionality of:
– All zones
– Detection devices
– Standby batteries
Through AlertWatch, you can rest easy that your home or business is safe and secure from any threat that you have entrusted to them. With competitive prices, maintenance and inspections and a customer support team unlike any other, AlertWatch is your number one source for home and business security in Ireland.